Posts Tagged ‘David Cronenberg’

  • Movie Club Podcast #27: Naked Lunch and Tristram Shandy


    T he Movie Club is back in session. Better late than never. This time, Kurt Halfyard moderates the show and is joined by Patrick Ripoll from The Director’s Club podcast, CriticalMassCast’s Corey Pierce and occasional contributor to Row Three Bob Turnbull from Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind discuss unorthodox adaptations of novels to screen by way of pretty established directors in Naked Lunch and Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.

    The streaming conversation as well as the downloadable audio podcast can be found at:

    The Movie Club Site

    There is a very slight audio glitch at the beginning while introducing the film titles and speakers, but after that clears up in a few seconds, all is good.
    Comments are turned off for this post, feel free to leave your comments on
    The Movie Club Podcast page.

  • Review: Cosmopolis

    Cosmopolis Movie Poster

    Director: David Cronenberg (The Fly, Videodrome, A History of Violence)
    Screenplay: David Cronenberg
    Producers: Paulo Branco, Martin Katz
    Starring: Robert Pattinson, Samantha Morton, Paul Giamatti, Kevin Durand, Juliette Binoche, Jay Baruchel
    MPAA Rating: R
    Running time: 108 min.


    Director David Cronenberg used be all about creeping us out while making us think. With the likes of The Fly, Scanners, The Brood, Dead Ringers and my personal favourite Videodrome, he delivered some of the most memorably creepy imagery in film history within what somehow still managed to be intelligent and thought-provoking experiences.

    As of late, however, Cronenberg’s tact has changed to a more grounded approach with often shocking moments of violence thrown in for good measure (see A History of Violence and Eastern Promises). His last film A Dangerous Method, a disappointingly subdued and frankly tame experience, certainly wasn’t a return to the earlier style and going by his latest, Cosmopolis, he doesn’t seem be much interested in that anymore.

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  • Vintage Cronenberg is back with Cosmopolis Teaser


    After detouring into period setting and psychoanalysis with A Dangerous Method, the more aggressive, violent and contemporary David Cronenberg is back: Hand shootings, eye stabbings, monsters running amok downtown. This looks like the most aggressive and genre-ish work the filmmaker has made in years. I am reading the Enter The Void stylings of the titles in this trailer as a good sign. And yes, Robert Pattinson looks great here.

    Samantha Morton, Paul Giamatti, Matthieu Amalric, Juliette Binoche, Kevin Durand and Jay Baruchel round out an impressive supporting cast. Cosmopolis is based on Don DeLillo’s novel of the same name:

    Eric Packer, a 28 year old multi-billionaire asset manager, makes an odyssey across midtown Manhattan in order to get a haircut. Covering roughly one day of time and includes highly sexed women and the theme of father-son separation. Packer’s voyage is obstructed by various traffic jams caused by a presidential visit to the city, a funeral procession for a Sufi rap star and a full-fledged riot. Along the way, the hero has several chance meetings with his wife, seeing her in a taxi, a bookstore, and lying naked in the street, taking part in a movie as an extra. Meanwhile, Packer is stalked by two men, a comical “pastry assassin” and an unstable “credible threat”. Over the course of the day, Eric loses vast amounts of money for his clients by betting against the rise of the yen. Packer seems to relish being unburdened by the loss of so much money, even stopping to make sure he loses his wife’s fortune as well, to ensure his ruin is inevitable.

  • Movie Club Podcast #23: Crash and Crash


    The FilmJunk crew has bowed out this week; but do not fret. Other exciting guests have entered the fray to help make the Movie Club Podcast go back to what it was originally intended to be: an always rotating panel of movie buffs and bloggers. This go-round sees the likes of RowThree favorites Ryan McNeil of The Matinee and Jim Laczkowski from The Director’s Club Podcast. Which Crash is your crash? Are you a lover of both, dismissive of both or somewhere in between. The sexual nuances of David Cronenberg’s 1996 Cannes award winner are teased out, while the subtleties of Paul Haggis’ Oscar winner are actively searched for. It’s a Thanksgiving Crashtacular, your mileage may vary!


    The Movie Club is as much for the listeners as it is the contributors. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section over at the Movie Club Page. (Comments are turned off on this post.) The Next Episode will be recorded probably sometime in January (maybe, but do not hold us to that; regularity is not our strong suit!) and the films on discussion will be Paris, Texas and Southland Tales.

  • Talk Amongst Yourselves (Nihilsm Edition)


    An artist does not have the social responsibility of a citizen. He has, in fact, no social responsibility whatsoever.

  • TIFF 2011: First Wave of Titles Announced




    A number of the Row Three Staff make it an annual ritual to see between 30 and 50 films during the month of September when Toronto is taken over by its largest celebration of cinema from around the world, The Toronto International Film Festival, aka TIFF. So the first announcement of titles is interesting because it often goes back to what the festival was many moons ago: a Festival of Festivals, where best films from Cannes, Berlin and Sundance (amongst others) are offered to local audiences. Of course the festival has gotten bigger over the years (and much more expensive) and World Premieres are also par for the course, but this first announcement allows to see many of the ‘big titles’ (aka Special Presentations and Masters programmes) with guaranteed distribution will make their World, North American or Canadian debuts.

    A quick survey by director offers new films from David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method), Lars Von Trier (Melancholia), Pedro Almodovar (The Skin I Live In), Francis Ford Coppola (Twixt), Fernando Meirelles (360), Alexander Payne (The Descendents), Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive), Steve McQueen (Shame), Sarah Polley (Take This Waltz), George Clooney (The Ides of March), Roland Emmerich (Anonymous), Todd Solondz (Dark Horse), Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea), and Luc Besson (The Lady).

    Other titles of interest is the former Soderbergh project starring Brad Pitt, Moneyball, as well as a lot of stuff from popular music, including Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam documentary, David Guggenheim’s U2 documentary and a feature film from Madonna simply titled W.E.

    Some interesting genre films, including the James Ellroy adaptation, Rampart, which has a loaded cast: Woody Harrelson, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Ned Beatty, Ben Foster and Anne Heche. South Korean thriller The Countdown exposes uses the underbelly of Seoul as a backdrop for a thirller. The Hugh Jackman and Olivia Wilde comedy, Butter, which also features Kristen Schaal. Noirish Killer Joe features Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Juno Temple and Gina Gershon. And the B&W silent comedy favourite at Cannes, Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist will be screening, as will Joseph Gordon-Levitt cancer comedy, 50/50 which also features Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Phillip Baker Hall and Anjelica Huston

    In the more dramatic side of things, I’ve been quite anticipating Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur which features Peter Mullan as an angry, cynical alcoholic who has reached rock-bottom is surprisingly brought back into life by a complete stranger: a middle-class woman with a strong belief in Christ. Eddie Marsan is also in it. Also Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilley star in Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin. Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas star in Lasse Halstrom’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. And from the directors of Persepolis comes another enchanting film adaptation of a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi: Chicken with Plums follows the last days of a talented musician’s (Mathieu Amalric) life as he desperately seeks to replace his beloved instrumental, the violin.

    There are many titles, 50 in all so far, for those who wish to peruse over at the TIFF website.

  • Cronenberg’s A DANGEROUS METHOD


    We are unabashed David Cronenberg fans in these parts. It partially explains why there is so much love around these parts for films like Splice. It is true that the auteur director has been moving beyond his body-horror salad-days for more subdued takes on his mind/flesh themes, and we love that too, particularly because he has adopted Viggo Mortensen to star in his films. And Mortensen is getting a chance to play Sigmund Freud alongside the wonderful Michael Fassbender who will play Carl Jung in his latest film, A Dangerous Method (I prefer the less generic sounding original title, “The Talking Cure” but this one might get more butts in seats along with its dreamy casting) which is based on a play by Christopher Hampton.

    The film will also star Vincent Cassel and Keira Knightley and it cannot come out too soon. Cronenberg does dueling psychologists. I have The Prestige level expectations!

    The Playlist has more details, as well as some potential future Cronenberg projects and were the source of the wonderful comparison image of the actors to the real-life counterparts.

  • Malick. Anderson. Von Trier. Criterion.


    It looks like Amazon screwed up a little bit by jumping the gun on offering up preorder pages for DVDs that don’t exist… yet. Criterion has confirmed that this fall (sometime) they’ll be releasing a number of well known titles on both regular DVD and Blu-ray.

    No surprise that Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Ltd. will get the treatment; all the rest of Anderson’s work has, so why not this one?

    Better still, Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line (which I just finished rewatching over the weekend) will get a Criterion spine number as well. The picture is already glorious, so on Blu-ray it should look absolutely stellar. Already the most epic cast of all time, the extras might include the cut footage with eight more big name actors. That would be nice – to put it mildly.

    And of course a RowThree favorite (making my personal top ten last year) is Lars Von Trier’s gorgeously made, arthouse, torture porn film, Antichrist. Once again a visually stunning film that will best be captured by the folks over at Criterion.

    image stolen from playlist. thanks!

    Getting some nice re-release transfers onto Blu-ray are Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (an eventual Blu upgrade for all of his previously released titles is imminent I’m sure). And also the much divisive Videodrome from David Cronenberg will now be able to be seen in Hi-Def.

    Lookout pocketbook. Autumn is going to be a bit busy!


  • David Cronenberg Project, The Talking Cure, Moves Forward


    A little tidbit from /Film on what is likely David Cronenberg next project to go before the cameras. It has it the casting stage at least, and that in itself is intriguing (not the least of which because there are two Basterds alumni in there. The story? It involves doctors, madness, ambition, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. This tease hits the sweet spot.

    ‘The Talking Cure’ directed by David Cronenberg, starring Keira Knightly, Michael Fassbender, Christoph Waltz. A beautiful young woman, driven mad by her past. An ambitious doctor on a mission to succeed. An esteemed mentor with a revolutionary cure.

  • Cinecast Episode 142 – Aging Oddly


    Episode 142:
    With the strange release dates in different cities this time of year it’s difficult to come together and actually have seen the same recent films. Yet we somehow always find a way. Today’s show is just Kurt and Andrew back together for a classic shoot the shit discussion on everything we’ve seen theatrically over the past few weeks – from remastered Halloween classics to the latest Almodóvar and Todd Solondz. We also get into a little early Oscar talk (including the new hosts just announced) and of course weekly DVD choices. Hope you enjoy this little back and forth and feel free to leave your thoughts on anything you wish in the comment section below and
    !Thanks for listening!

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  • Cronenberg talks Videodrome in Toronto


    cronenberg_VideodromeA full house at the Ontario Cinematheque got to see a scratchy but vibrant print of David Cronenberg‘s 1983 body/mind/technology mind-fuck Videodrome. Two things I learned before during my first celluloid viewing of the film: First is the amusing and interesting connection to local Toronto TV station, CityTV which sounds a lot like the fictional CivicTV in the film (and one of the execs is named Moses); how I missed this connection in the past is quite baffling, considering CityTV was such an upstart and ‘dangerous’ in their programming with uncensored swearing and soft core pornography (The ‘Baby Blue’ Movies) on the occasional late night programming slot. Second is that the film has not so much as ‘aged well’ as ‘aged strangely.’ An unconventional (and considering the amount of critical ink spilled in the past 25 years, prophetic and affecting) film by having Toronto play itself (Note despite prominent TTC buses and subways, 1980s Scanners has the title card “Los Angeles”), it remains an interesting visual artifact of the city in the early 1980s. Yet the strange editing rhythm (intentional, or simply a lucky artifact of a still finding-his-way filmmaker, his real coming out party was to come three years later with The Fly) is vague and confusing in the second half. Sure, Max Renn (James Woods) is in full brain tumour slash video hallucination mode at this point, but the film still throws in some non-sequitur locations like a rusty grounded lakeboat for no apparent reason. Yet the very non-connected nature of scene to scene storytelling gives a dangerous edge the the narrative that plays in the films favour.

    The director himself was on hand to intro the film, and I happened to have my voice-recorder there to get an audio feed of the two local entertainment rag critics, Eye Weekly’s Adam Nayman and Now’s Norman Wilner talk a bit about their own personal experience with the film and its context towards the city of Toronto (the film was the last of the Ontario Cinematheque’s Toronto on Film series) before bringing Cronenberg onto the stage to talk about the production, the actors, the city and how he feels about his own cult masterpiece today.

    Video is tucked under the seat. (watch or listen at your own risk, Long Live the New Flesh!)
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  • Remembering a Decade…2005


    (prologue) As we can begin to hear the death rattle of the oughts, we in the third row decided to start on this continuing series throughout 2009 that will look back at our favorite films of each of the past ten years (2000-2009). This will ultimately culminate in a “ten best/favorites of the oughts” piece sometime in early 2010.

    This is probably our most inaccurate list of this series so far. With so many titles in 2005 that were on the cusp of being legendary, it really watered down the list of potentials. With movies like Brick, Good Night and Good Luck, Match Point and Batman Begins to contend with, it’s hard to put together a consensus top five list. Especially considering there were quite a few under-seen gems that popped up from 2005 over the past few years (Squid and the Whale, Lady Vengeance, Tristram Shandy). Once all of the staples of the year grace one’s list, it’s hard to fill in the blanks with a common consensus with so many great titles flying around. But anyway, if nothing else 2005 is a year that delivers weeks of quality film watching and more than a few week’s worth of discussion and debate. So here’s RowThree remembering 2005…

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